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Dr Kaitlin Wade


After obtaining a joint-honours BSc in Biology and Mathematics at the University of Bristol, I was able to combine and apply these two fields to epidemiological study designs within the Wellcome Trust Genetic, Molecular and Lifecourse Epidemiology 4-year PhD. Specifically, the topic of my PhD was aimed at assessing various causes and consequences of cardiovascular health variation across the lifecourse, with focus on risk factors including early life factors, aspects of diet and eating behaviour and adiposity. Throughout my PhD I was particularly interested in using methods to improve causal inference within observational epidemiological context, including the use of comprehensive longitudinal cohorts, randomized controlled trials and Mendelian randomization.

After completing my PhD, my first postdoctoral role involved developing MR-Base, a continuously updated online platform that collates and harmonises summary-level data from large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and automates two-sample Mendelian randomization analyses, including a range of new sensitivity analyses. My research since focused on the application of several causal inference methods (mainly Mendelian randomization and Recall-by-Genotype analyses) within large population-based cohorts to understand adiposity and dietary intake/eating behaviour as causal risk factors for disease and mortality within the BMI-to-Health group (PI: Professor Nicholas Timpson). 

I was then awarded an Elizabeth Blackwell Institute Early Career Fellowship based within the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit in the Bristol Medical School (Population Health Sciences), where my work focused on the application of these causal inference methods and genetic epidemiology to understand the causal role played by the human gut microbiome within health and disease. Specifically, within this Fellowship, my aims were to understand the link between dietary intake and the gut microbiome and, in turn, its impact on colorectal cancer, type 2 diabetes and inflammatory bowel diseases.

Now, as an appointed Lecturer within the Bristol Medical School, I am responsible for co-directing the MSc in Epidemiology with Dr Penny Whiting. Alongside this, I am continuing the work focusing on the application of advanced epidemiological techniques to improve causality in the relationships between the gut microbiome and human health and disease. 



Bristol Medical School (PHS)

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